Pic of the Month: December ‘10

by | Dec 31, 2010 | Pic of the Month | 5 comments

Christmas Bells

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It amazes me how pleasing compositions unexpectedly produce themselves. Of course, it’s hard not to come away with a winner when one is standing on a mountaintop at sunrise with mist rising out of the valleys, or on a beach at sunset directly following a torrential rainstorm. But it’s those everyday, “normal-rich,” “profundity-scarce” situations that always surprise me.

Of all the pictures I took during the Christmas Conference at the beginning of December, this picture was the only one that really made me say “Wow”. However, I wasn’t thinking anything different when I took it. Every time I see a potential subject, every time I compose and focus on it, every time I press the shutter release, I think about what factors will affect the exposure, what elements will build the composition, and what goal, emotion, or purpose I am trying to reach. But not every picture is a “Wow” picture. In fact, very few are.

So this is why I keep taking pictures; not random pictures, or pictures that will be of no use to me later. Don’t take me wrong; I choose my subjects carefully. But when I see something that tells a story, brings back old memories, or stimulates emotion, I will do my best to capture it despite the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

5 Comments

  1. Michael

    The blue cloth and the yellow lights provided you with a very noteworthy opportunity to capture that striking color contrst! I think that’s the most significnt factor that “makes the picture”. There is also a nice dark-light contrast while not too abrupt; it still retains a very soft feel to it. I say “wow” too.

    What if you lowered the camera slightly, moved it to the left slightly, and zoomed up just a hair more so that the foreground bell would subtly become more the obvious primary subject of the picture instead of being “in a corner”? Of course, you wouldn’t want to create too much distraction from seeing more of what was above/behind the table to the top and right.

    It might do just as well to crop a sliver more off the top and right of the picture.

    Reply
  2. Robert

    That picture brings back good memories for me, James! Playing bells at Christmas Conference was so much fun. 🙂 Yesterday, Kerzdenn talked a lot about depth of field, which you used very well in this picture. It’s so Christmassy!

    Reply
  3. Daniel Staddon

    Those were my bells! 🙂 I didn’t realize what beautiful instruments I was playing.

    After trying to take a few pictures myself the past few days, I have a new appreciation for truly beautiful photography! Well done James.

    Reply
  4. James

    Thanks for the comments, Michael. Good points to consider.

    Reply
  5. Victoria Morrison

    Really like this picture! I can just imagine the music! And the way it was taken makes it so beautiful!

    Reply

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